On 4 August 2010, Riga Airport signed an agreement with the Ministry of Transport on the implementation of project „Development of Infrastructure of Riga International Airport” (Registration No 3DP/184.108.40.206.0/10/IPIA/SM/001), financed by European Union Cohesian Fund.
The project was implemented over the period from 4 August 2010 to 31 December 2015.
The goal of the project was to improve the environment conditions of the airside and landside areas, to raise the standards of air travel safety and to increase the capacity of Riga International Airport.
The directly attributable costs of the project were EUR 93,026,375.55, of which Cohesion Fund financing comprised EUR 57,711,137.11 and the state budget financing EUR 11, 594,671.74. The share of Riga Airport in the project funding constituted EUR 23,720,566.70.
In the course of the project, the following activities were implemented:
- Renovation of the runway pavement surface.
- Reinforcement of the runway strip.
- Construction of additional taxiways E and D.
- Construction of Category II lighting system.
- Reconstruction of Apron 1.
- Reconstruction of Apron 2.
- Reconstruction of Apron 3.
- Construction of anti-icing treatment platforms at the airfield N and S ends.
- Construction of the storm water drainage and airfield drainage system.
- Construction of a vehicle-washing hangar.
- Construction of a waste collection hangar.
- Basic renovation of Taxiways C and G.
- Construction of a fire station.
- Purchase of a specialized fire and aviation rescue vehicle.
- Purchase of equipment for security measures.
The construction works were commenced on 2 May 2013. They were carried out by the companies PS “FCC, Hochtief and ACB”, SIA “Binders” and SIA “Merks” and PS “ACB & STRABAG”. Construction supervision was provided by SIA” Provia”, SIA “P.M.G” and SIA “Būvju profesionālā uzraudzība”. Detail designs were elaborated by PS “NAMS/COWI Latvia/Aviaplan”, AAC Aviation & Airport Consult GmbH, SIA “Provia”, SIA Inženieru birojs “Būve un Forma”.
Renovation of Pavement on Runway 18 – 36
The previous renovation of the runway had been executed in 1994 when the existing concrete slabs were covered with an asphalt-concrete layer. The runway surface has been in use for 19 years. In the course of this time, reflective cracks copying the configuration of the concrete slabs had appeared on the pavement. The pavement renovation works included the repair of the cracks, installation of cables for touchdown zone lights in the pavement, milling and smoothing of the existing pavement, construction of a new subgrade and wearing course and renovation of markings.
Reinforcement of the Runway Strip and the Safety Area of the Runway End
Reinforcement of the runway strip ensured minimization of the potential consequences of an aircraft accident and speeding up of rescue works in case the airplane ran off the runway while taking off or landing. Reinforced foundation was laid in the runway strip area on both sides of the runway and at its north end.
CAT II Lighting System
The airfield lighting system was modernised to ensure landing and movement of aircraft on the taxiways under low visibility conditions, and thus improving flight safety and minimizing the number of flights that should be diverted or delayed due to unfavourable weather. The approach light system for Course 18 was modernised according to CAT II requirements and centreline lights were built in the taxiways.
Reconstruction of Aprons 1, 2 and 3
The concrete pavement of the aprons was worn down and partly cracked, its surface in many places had crumbled, the joints between massive concrete slabs were damaged. The fragments of broken concrete pavement where posing a threat to aircraft engines, therefore the apron was fully repaved and the number of aircraft stands increased in total by 14 stands. A new lighting system was installed on the aprons and new service equipment was provided for ground handling of aircraft.
Two platforms for anti-icing treatment of aircraft were built ensuring collection and treatment of all the used anti-icing liquid and preventing the release into sewage waters of the polluting substances.
Taxiways E and D
A new taxiway E and a rapid exit taxiway D were constructed allowing the arriving aircraft to clear the runway faster by reducing the taxiing distance and thus increasing the runway capacity and minimizing the amount of harmful emissions released to the atmosphere.
Taxiways C and G
Taxiways C and G had last been reconstructed in 1994, their surface was worn and they were too narrow to allow for a sufficient safety margin for the movement of large aircraft (e.g., Boeing 747), therefore basic renovation with widening and resurfacing of the taxiways was performed.
Storm Water Drainage and Airfield Drainage System
In the result of building the storm water drainage and airfield drainage system, the water table at the airfield has been lowered and removal of water from the airfield surface during strong rainstorms has improved, ensuring uninterrupted work of the airfield. In addition, the risk of eroding and caving in of the airfield caused by the old drainage system has been eliminated.
Waste Collection Site
Collection of waste in containers in open air was a potential risk for environment and aircraft traffic because the waste was attracting birds. Therefore, a closed hangar was built in the airport territory for collection of all categories of waste with containers for sorting waste by type: paper, cardboard, electric goods, metal, glass, hazardous waste, etc. A special area is allocated for hazardous waste.
Aerodrome Vehicle Washing Hangar
The airport lacked a special area for washing the airfield machinery in conformity with environment standards. It is particularly important in the winter season when the machines perform clearance of the aerodrome territory and its treatment with gritting materials. A hangar was built especially for washing of the aerodrome machines and other airport vehicles, ensuring that the dirt, chemical substances and petroleum products washed away from the vehicles were collected prior to their release into the drainage system.
The existing buildings of the firefighting depot were built in the period from 1978 to 1984 and were worn down, including the structures and all communication networks. Instead of the two old buildings, a new fire station has been built improving the airfield safety and reducing the travel time of the fire brigade to a fire or aircraft accident site.
Special Machinery and Equipment Purchased with the Project Funds
Within the framework of the project, a specialized fire and aviation rescue vehicle as well as security equipment, such as liquid explosives detectors, explosives detectors, hand-held X-ray equipment for baggage checking, walk-through metal detectors and portable X-ray equipment were purchased.
- In the course of the project implementation, the Riga Airport’s impact on the environment has been diminished:
- by constructing additional taxiways and consequently shortening the aircraft taxiing distance, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere has been reduced by 700 tons per year;
- the new aircraft anti-icing platforms help prevent releasing into the sewerage system approximately 300 000 litres of anti-icing agents.
- New and renovated airfield pavements minimize the risk of foreign objects entering the aircraft engines and generally improve aviation safety.
- By implementing the project, Riga Airport has been certified as CAT II airport enabling carriers to operate flights in adverse weather conditions reducing the number of diverted flights and achieving better flight safety.